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Henderson Finishes Off Mabank in Four + Advances to Area Round

Henderson’s Codie Whitehead celebrates with teammates during the Lady Lions’ win over Mabank during their Class 3A Region II bi-district playoff Tuesday in Whitehouse. (Christopher R. Vinn,

WHITEHOUSE — Except for a momentary misstep, the Henderson Lady Lions began the postseason in fine fashion.

Henderson, the third-place finisher from District 16-3A, took down 15-3A runner-up Mabank 25-21, 25-23, 18-25, 25-20 on Tuesday in their 3A Region II bi-district playoff at Whitehouse High School’s Wildcat Arena.

Henderson’s Kami McCaw passes the ball during the Lady Lions’ win over Mabank in a Class 3A Region II bi-district playoff Tuesday in Whitehouse. (Christopher R. Vinn,

The Lady Lions (30-9) will play 14-3A champion Emory Rains in a rematch of last year’s area-round encounter. The match will most likely take place Thursday at a time and site to be determined.

Henderson led the majority of the opening game, battled from behind to take Game 2 and started slowly in a Game 3 loss before taking control in the deciding fourth game.

“In the first, second and fourth game I thought we played pretty good,” said Henderson coach Leann Dorsey. “I thought we had a little lull in the third game and that is something that you cannot do in the playoffs. That will be something we definitely talk about tomorrow.”

Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Boles led Henderson with 15 kills, one block, one assist and two aces. Senior outside hitter Kami McCaw added 12 kills, the trio of Morgan Weaver, Taylor Sledge and Codie Whitehead combined on 16 kills and 10 blocks and Karley Free notched 33 assists to go with her two kills.

“I really thought as a whole everybody stepped up and did their part,” Dorsey said. “We didn’t do a very good job passing the ball tonight, so our setter was running all over the floor. But when we did get a pass we did get it to our hitters and that’s what we needed to do.”

Mabank’s Madison Holyfield taps the ball over the net during their loss to Henderson in a Class 3A Region II bi-district playoff Tuesday in Whitehouse. (Christopher R. Vinn,

Madison Holyfield led a balanced Mabank attack with 12 kills and two aces. Mikayla Adams added 10 kills and two aces, Shyanne Vinson had nine kills and an assist, Bailey Swain chipped in with seven kills, one block and two aces, Payton Costlow had five kills, three blocks and an assist and Meagan Holyfield assisted on 38 points and added three kills and an ace.

Consecutive kills from Boles and McCaw gave Henderson an 18-11 lead in Game 1, and after Mabank cut the deficit to 21-19 on a spike from Madison Holyfield, the Lady Lions were able to secure the opening set by scoring four of the final six points — the last coming after a block from Weaver.

Mabank started Game 2 strong by opening up a 10-6 lead. Adams’ kill off a Meagan Holyfield assist gave the Lady Panthers a 15-12 advantage, but Henderson was able to reassume control by going on a 7-1 run that was highlighted by a pair of McCaw kills. Mabank responded and got within a point with a 7-1 run of its own late in the game, but Henderson was successful on its third game point and took a 2-0 match lead.

Mabank used the momentum created at the end of Game 2 and began the third game on fire, building an 11-1 lead that would prove to be insurmountable for Henderson.

The Lady Lions began Game 4 on a 10-4 run and never let Mabank get closer than two points.

Henderson’s Kami McCaw taps the ball over the net during the Lady Lions’ win over Mabank in a Class 3A Region II bi-district playoff Tuesday in Whitehouse. (Christopher R. Vinn,

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